Better Late?

Better late than never.
~ Titus Livius, Livy’s History of Rome

There are times when days just seem to get lost. Yes, this entry is late. Some members of our team are working an FETC booth at the Orlando Convention Center, and we are still here. The WeatherSTEM division of our company is getting an enthusiastic response on the convention floor. We have managed to take live data and integrate it into classroom learning opportunities. It’s an exciting next step in our innovation roadmap.

fetc2

Many teachers like you are excited about engaging their students with live data. The Florida Giveaway has people filling out an application just to get involved. Maybe your home county should join us as well? Give it some thought. Now it’s time to get back to Educator enhancements … in your own words.

ONE

When a gradebook is exported, is there a way to show all assignments that have been submitted and not yet graded? I work with the gradebook all of the time. Would it be possible to add a feature that allows me to know which assignments have been submitted and are not yet graded through the gradebook?

For those of you who like exporting and importing the gradebook, the developers have added the code to help accomplish this goal. Happy?

export2

TWO

Can we get a warning on last assignment submitted dates? Maybe a date of last assignment submitted that turns red after 7 days? Or a two-color variable set by teacher? Not sure what the time period should be, but I like the color warning of sorts.

This one struck developers here as an interesting idea. The fastest route to get you where you want to get just makes efficiency sense. Here is the new color-coding scheme for last assignment submitted data.

colors2

  • Red = more than 7 days
  • Yellow = between 4 and 7 days
  • Green = less than 4 days

A quick glance at that Last Submitted column should tell you something worth knowing now. What do you think?

THREE

Our final suggestion for this week is a long one.

Would it be possible to allow teachers to “modify” lessons by putting their own comments in that students see when they open the assessment in the gradebook? I see we can currently do this, but it refreshes each evening so it is not a working feature for us. I would like to use this feature to help with the directions or give reminders (example: “Remember that I’m looking for 3 paragraphs on this one!” or “Call me at XXXX to complete this discussion” or even a fun sticker to encourage them . . .)
I know we can do a forcing slide after they submit, but as a teacher, I would love to have them see my tips and reminders as they are submitting. I get lots of resubmissions on the same mistakes and would love to be preemptive. Students would love it, too!!

We got the message! Teachers can now add reminders to students for all assessments. These reminders are separate from the assessment instructions and are not shared between course shells of the same course ID.

To create/edit them, go to the appropriate assessment screen and click on the ACTIONS button.
Choose Edit Assessment Reminder.

reminder1

Craft your helpful words to students in the Assessment Reminder window, Remember to select SAVE.

reminder2

Reminders will appear to students on the assessment screen in a blue information box below the assessment title.

reminder3

Your assignment tips and hints will remain with the assignment for all students until you edit or delete it. We hope this helps. Please let us know. Now it’s back to FETC!

There is an immeasurable distance between late and too late.
~ Og Mandino

 

Glance Back

All the holiday trimmings have finally been put away for another year. Likely there are remnants hiding and waiting to be discovered at some inconvenient time. Looking back over last month’s dialogues, a few of you have previously noticed how the new whiteboard just snuck in right before holiday. We never did say much about it. We just left it under the holiday decor. Others mentioned how they never even knew it was there! We thought perhaps it was time to stop … and take a closer look back at that little surprise left behind at the winter solstice.

jagger

You better stop, look around.
Here it comes, here it comes.
~ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, 19th Nervous Breakdown

The old whiteboard has moved on. Did you notice? A newer whiteboard has taken its place. If you have not paid it a visit, take 5 minutes and just give it a look. Play with it a while. There are the usual drawing tools on the right side and some handy new ones along the top:

whiteboard2

There are two tools that really demand your attention, the Equation Editor and the Wolfram|Alpha. The editor is self-explanatory. It will create images on the “graph paper” for you to use. A really fascinating journey can begin with the Wolfram|Alpha. Exploring here might keep you engrossed for hours, especially if you teach any STEM subjects. This would really satisfy anyone with a curiosity about any body of knowledge. Go ahead and try it! Try this:

  • Open the Whiteboard
  • Select the WOLFRAM|ALPHA tool
  • Type/Copy into the text box … pennies to cover 2 square miles
  • SUBMIT

Or how about this?

  • Type/Copy into the text box … 10 almond M&M’s

Isn’t that something?

What else? You can even take a SNAPSHOT of your sheet:

snapshot2

Lots of the usual goodies, but did you notice Bobafett? You can upload the usual cast of characters (images) to this Whiteboard … even Word documents, Powerpoint shows, and PDF files! Just use the upload button and add files to your list of assets:

upload2

Give the new Whiteboard a whirl and let us know what you think.
It really is sometimes worthwhile to make the trip back, isn’t it?

getback

Get back, get back.
Get back to where you once belonged.
~ John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Start It Up

One thing is sure. We have to do something.
We have to do the best we know how at the moment . . . ;
If it doesn’t turn out right, we can modify it as we go along.
~ Franklin Roosevelt

momentum14

That’s exactly where this blog entry began … Momentum 2014. We heard you loud and clear! If you were paying attention, you heard it as well. We have never heard such a unified call to erase (or at least ease) a problem. We will get there, but first …

EMAIL

Several teachers have asked to be able to address an email message to one student. They did not want to navigate long rosters or check any boxes. They simply wanted to address an email to B. Johnson by typing the name. Here we go! Start typing any letters in the TO: box, and the qualifying names remain listed. The more you type, the narrower the selection becomes:

email one

Just click on the name for which you were searching, and it’s done!
PLEASE NOTE: You cannot select multiple names here. This only works for single student selection.

Now it’s time for the main event. What was the single greatest problem presented to us in October? Can you guess? It was students skipping over discussion-based assignments. More succinctly, the problem was not that they were skipping these assignments; that seemed inevitable. The challenge was to inform you when this happened. You had no way of knowing unless you went through the tedium of checking the gradebook. You had no way to know without looking … until now!

Your Educator development team has come up with a way for you to customize notifications to yourself when a student proceeds in your course without completing his/her DBA (or any other targeted assignment). Keeping within FLVS policy, we did not want to prevent the student from progressing through the course. We rather wanted to create a way for YOU TO KNOW that the student was “skipping” the DBA. Follow these steps, and you let us know how it works …

STEP ONE

From the MAIN MENU go to NOTIFICATION SETTINGS and select Advanced notification settings.

specific1

STEP TWO

On the GENERAL SETTINGS tab fill in your email address (any email you like) for notifications and your text address in email format. Hovering over the question mark will show some phone carrier sample addresses, or you can search this page. The system will use whatever email and text addresses you care to supply here.

specific2

STEP THREE

Select the SPECIFIC ASSESSMENT EVENTS tab. If you have any RULES in place, this is where the course and rules will be listed. On this page you can edit or delete any previously created rules. To create a new rule just select the CREATE RULE button.

specific3

STEP FOUR

This will open the ASSESSMENT RULES window. This is the master control, the brain center, the power of the specific assessment notification engine.

specific4A

STEP FIVE

From your course dropdown, just select the course for which you want to create a notice.
PLEASE NOTE: You will be creating a rule that applies to all students in this course.

specific4B

STEP SIX

This is the most difficult part of this whole operation. You are going to pick any assessment that YOU DO NOT WANT SUBMITTED before the “skipped” assignment is submitted. In the example below, we are targeting the 1.07 DBA as the assignment NOT to be skipped. We are going to select any assignment (trigger) in the red highlighted area as one that should only be submitted AFTER our DBA. In other words … whatever assignment is put here SHOULD be submitted only AFTER my DBA/target assignment is submitted.

specific4C2

STEP SEVEN

In the step below we have already selected Assessment 2.0 Module Two Pretest as our trigger assessment. We are also selecting 01.07 Module One DBA as our Skipped Assessment. In simplest terms … we are asking the system to notify us if Assessment 2.0 is submitted BEFORE Assessment 01.07 is submitted. Make sense? Once again, we could have selected any assessment as the trigger. We could even select one two modules away. It all depends on us and how we choose to handle notifications.

specific4C

STEP EIGHT

After creating our rule, we need to select our preferred notification (1) method for this particular rule. Then we can create a SUBJECT line (2) for the email or text message. As always, you must click SAVE (3) to enter your rule into the system.

specific5

We will be reminded that we need to complete the email address and phone/text information on the general tab. Failure to do this will send all notifications into the cyberspace void.

The new rule is added to your assessment rules page where it can be edited or deleted as you wish.

specific7

Once you go through this process a couple of times, it will not be as tedious as it sounds. You can now be notified whenever a student “skips” those DBA assignments. It will take you some trial and error to figure out where you want your triggers to be, but you’ll get there. We hope this helps. Please let us know.

coveralls

Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.
~ Henri Kaiser

Tune Into 2015

As you might have predicted, here is wishing a Happy New Year to all of you from the Educator development team. The topic of much writing at this time of year centers on new resolutions, new directions, and new hope. Your Educator team has never really been that predictable with their continual surprises (almost always for the better), and this year will be no different.

Certain bodies… become luminous when heated. Their luminosity disappears after some time, but the capacity of becoming luminous afresh through heat is restored to them by the action of a spark …
~ Marie Curie

We all know how long Educator has been around and how long it has been a learning fixture in the largest online secondary school in the world. We also know how much Educator has grown in recent years. Your suggestions and ideas remain the spark that keeps the luminosity bright. We know that your schools are closed right now. We know that most of you are still on vacation. So why write today?

forest2015 Remembering the philosophical question/quote regarding trees falling in empty forests and the follow-up sound question, we decided the time was just too important, and we needed to share two pieces of information with anyone of you who might be listening.

Number One

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
~ Oprah Winfrey

Get it right? It’s better said to get it even more right! Educator will certainly continue to grow this year. Our team is committed to doing more than we did last year to increase the teaching and learning efficiencies in our system. We customized a great deal for FLVS and its franchises in 2014. We cannot successfully continue this mission of ours without your continued support and suggestions. Little by little with ears and minds open, we are prepared to make tremendous progress in 2015. Everyone on our development team thanks you in advance for this coming year.

Number Two

tunein

Just come back to this page next Friday morning. Be here. Period. Tell your team members and supervisors to tune in as well. We have been listening carefully to your suggestions and have identified your pain points. It was the loudest cry at the Momentum Conference almost three months ago, and the developers have found a path through the woods, a light in the tunnel, certainly a sigh of some relief.

Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.
~ Robert Collier

In the meantime …

Welcome back! Keep the conversation alive. We promise to do all we can to make your 2015 better than expected. And we expect you to make us work even harder in our effort to earn your continued loyalty and support. It’s not in our plans or DNA to expect otherwise of ourselves.

We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.
~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Happy Solstice

It could be as early as December 20th, or it could be as late as December 23rd. The December Solstice is called the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. The sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, and the North Pole is tilted -23.5 degrees away from the sun. In 2014 that day will be December 21, and the exact moment will be at 6:03pm EST. The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year in this hemisphere. This might well mark the shortest blog entry of this year.

solstice

 A customer is the most important visitor on our premises.
He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him.
He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it.
He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it.
We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.
~ Kenneth B. Elliott (Studebaker) or Leon Leonwood Bean (L.L. Bean) or Mahatma Gandhi (Indian leader)

No one is really sure whom to credit with that quote above. It hardly matters; it surely works for the Educator development team and reflects our sentiment here. It’s time now for the holidays. It’s time for the break away from the day in and day out; it’s time to play; it’s time to enjoy; it’s time to hold close. The developers wanted to leave you with a little gift. That old WHITEBOARD was replaced with a newer one. You’ll find it on your toolbar:

whiteboard

We’re working now on something you won’t want to miss! We’ll be working through these next two weeks (with small family breaks). We’ll be here when you get back in the New Year. Until then … have a Merry Holiday. We thank you for being here.

Education must begin with the solution of the student-teacher contradiction, by reconciling the poles of the contradiction so that both are simultaneously teachers and students.
~ Paulo Freire

 

Baby Steps

Whilst we deliberate how to begin a thing, it grows too late to begin it.
~ Quintilian

Where to start is sometimes a problem. That first step is often the most difficult. The same is true in almost any novel, any sculpture, any musical composition, or any blog.

first-step

Let’s begin with simplicity …

Usage Log Export

The USAGE LOG has proven to be valuable for many of you, but there was an improvement to be made:

The issue is that there are no print menus in some of the new screens, specifically the screens for the usage logs and the action logs.

export usage

You will now be able to export a student’s USAGE LOG in a variety of formats. This might prove handy when you need to send information to support any dialogue with parents, students, or each other.

Selected Shading

Now that we’ve begun to roll, we received another logical suggestion recently. It’s worth the sharing and repairing:

Is there any way you could make the shading on correct answers (in exams) a little darker? I find it difficult to see, especially when on my tablet or laptop.

This is how selected answers have looked until now and how they will appear as you move forward:

answers

Default Entry Point

And finally this week, it was pointed out to us via email:

Right now there is no place to set a default course for Teacher shells. It should be on the “Other Courses” page and/or the sign in page.

Good point! Some of you have many courses. It would be nice to be able to pick where you entered your school building every day, wouldn’t it?

Select OTHER COURSES from the toolbar menu:

enter_1uncheck

If you DO NOT want the course currently entered to be your default point of entry, then uncheck the UNCHECK box. Next, enter the same course. Having re-entered the course, return to the OTHER COURSES link. You will notice the changed last column:

enter_2check

Select the course you would like to be your default point of entry. If you select none of these, then your point of entry will be your full course listing, and you will need to choose every time.

Well … we managed to begin again! Let us know your thoughts, and we will respond. It’s time now to dig out some decorations.

To begin, begin.
~ William Wordsworth

Two Waves

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
~ John Kabat-Zinn

Last week’s turkey kicked off the almost-winter holiday season. We have a month of upcoming parties, presents, greetings, and goodies. That’s one side of the story. We also have some work to get done, some enhancements to deliver, some bridges to build, and some programs to develop. We have two waves upon us.

waves

Use Case 1: TA Troubles

Lead teachers are responsible for interventions with students that sometimes result in students being administratively withdrawn (this process is called LTI). But with TA access, the lead cannot refer back to a gradebook in one of his/her pod teacher’s classrooms after the fact. There is no way for the lead to use the Temporarily Restore Student feature in Educator in order to have a conversation about the student’s progress in the course prior to withdrawal.

Effective immediately, TA’s are now able to restore students. This should make their lead-life (and yours!) a little easier. Would you agree?

Use Case 2: Who’s Here, and Who’s Not?

It would be great if I could quickly see how much time a student spent in my class on a particular day.
There is an Attendance Roster in Educator. However, when I pull any, I receive a spreadsheet with only names.
Can you do something about this? It would make many franchise managers very happy!

The developer elves went into the attendance feature and STARTED to make it more functional for you. This will be an evolving progression, but the first phase has been released. Select Attendance under STUDENTS from the toolbar menu for now …

attendance1

Beginning with December 1, pick any single date. (These calendar boxes are planned to hold the keys to a lot more information in the future. Your patience will be rewarded.) Back to attendance …

attendance2

The Attendance Report is relatively simple to understand. All columns are sortable with a click on the field name. All times are recorded in HH:MM:SS format (hours/minutes/seconds). The fields record:

  • DURATION – The total amount of time the student spent in your course on that day
  • VISITS – The number of different logins on that day
  • PER VISIT – The average time per visit

In the report above, for example, [Student Name D] made 2 visits to your course and spent more than 5 hours there. PLEASE NOTE: If a student is inactive for more than 5 minutes, the timer stops. Duration therefore represents active time.

We’re in the groove here. We’re catching waves. We’ll be catching up on all your posts and requests. Please keep your suggestions and ideas rolling in! We’re looking ahead to bigger and better things.

Surfing’s one of the few sports that you look ahead to see what’s behind.
~ Laird Hamilton

Power of Enthusiasm

The real secret of success is enthusiasm.
~ Walter P. Chrysler

These words still ring in my ears from lessons learned a long time ago. Have you ever thought about what we have accomplished together through these pages in almost two years? It would be easy for the Ucompass developers to take all the credit, but that isn’t really the case. That would be only half the story. It’s actually YOUR enthusiasm that propels our developers. The sheer power of that enthusiasm is not to be ignored.

propel

Your comments, your suggestions, your criticism, and your gratitude, both here and on our Facebook page, fuel the Educator engine. We may not immediately address every suggestion to your liking, but we process each and every single one of them internally. Every word you take the time to write is carefully read, technically weighed, and operationally discussed. Speaking of which, some of your enthusiastic comments are copied here today …

For the Lab Folks

Something I have been struggling with this week is forcing slides. I would LOVE a school filter for applying forcing slides to certain students. This would be super-helpful for lab students.

Making something super-helpful for students will actually require a super-helpful teacher to make this work. We know you’re out there. You want to sort students by school of record and force them to a slide based on that information, right? These will work with your filters as well. Here you go!

forcing1

For the Shortcutters

Here is another enthusiastic comment to share …

I would love to see a button in the student’s individual gradebook to lift a suspension rather than going back out, click on suspension manager, and finding the student. Would be a time saver!!!

We really do try to save you time. There is more on the ACTIONS menu now! From this menu both teachers and TA’s will be able to suspend or remove suspension without going back to the manager.

suspensions

For the Speed Graders

Another time-saver idea to toss around … When we are grading papers, we have to manually type “50” (if points possible is 50) or 100, etc. A good majority of the time the student gets the high score, especially after they resubmit. If a bubble was next to that for only top score “50” and you can click that and it fills it in, we would not have to type the number. Of course, we need the open slot for less points, but that would save a lot of typing. I always wish I could just click the top score and move forward.

Well … it seems that someone’s wish has been granted. While grading Assignments or essay questions on Exams and Worksheets, the maximum point value for that grading item will now be a link! Click the link, and the grading item is automatically graded with that maximum grade. How’s that?

scoring

Great enthusiasm deserves great attention. Please let us know what you think. Feel free to keep that faucet full of ideas wide open.

For Everyone

Remember when … we told you that the mobile menu would become friendlier. This was released just two days ago:

mobilles

Rather than scrolling the list, the expected open/close submenus have been created. You can still bring back the left navigation buttons, if you like. But the loss of real estate will be too great.

Remember: the setting you choose is tied to your account. It will remain that way until you change it. In other words, the setting on your laptop or computer will be the same on any mobile device. This applies to students as well. Using different settings on different devices will require your visit to account preferences upon login.

Thank you for all your enthusiasm … posted, written, and spoken. Once again, coupled with hard work and energy, it just drives things forward.

Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success.
When you do a thing, do it with all your might.
Put your whole soul into it.
Stamp it with your own personality.
Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful … and you will accomplish your object.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Scene Too

Some films just leave an impression. We have all seen them. We know many of those films that withstand the test of time. Years later these films still etch something in the minds of old and new viewers. Some scenes stand out in our minds more than others. You might remember one of these famous scenes: “Here’s Johnny” in The Shining; the opening petition scene for justice in The Godfather; the shower scene in Psycho.

AgonyEcstasyA lesser-known film of much lesser-known scenes was The Agony and the Ecstasy released in 1965. The story is set in early sixteenth century Rome. It was the papal reign of Julius II who was called the Warrior Pope and known as a patron of the arts. He wanted to leave behind artifacts by which he would be remembered. When he wasn’t warring through the rest of Europe, Pope Julius II would return to the Vatican and wreak havoc there. He had commissioned the talented Michelangelo to create several works. Perhaps the most challenging and massive task appointed to him was the painting of the entire Sistine Chapel. There is one most memorable scene in the movie when the impatient Pope badgers Michelangelo who is lying uncomfortably on some high scaffolding and painfully painting the famous fresco depicting the Book of Genesis on the Sistine Chapel ceiling …

Michelangelo - Creation of Adam - 1512

Michelangelo – Creation of Adam – 1512

POPE JULIUS II
When will you make an end?

MICHELANGELO
When I am finished!

This exchange of words is repeated throughout the film. The Pope wanted things completed yesterday, and the artist wanted his work to be perfect in his own eyes. So … when is work finished? It depends on who is doing it! This lengthy introduction applies to you.

The Educator developers have a lot of big ideas and plans on the table. The dust has settled from last week’s major rollout. They were going to push out a few more tweaks and efficiencies this week, but we decided to hold off a bit. We are going to let a little time pass right now. Our highest priorities include getting the mobile interface to work in a user-friendlier manner. We are also determined  to give you better control over DBA timing and warnings. There are some pilots now “in the wild” that we are watching very closely. This includes working with automatic exemptions in some trial courses. The development team is also working on dynamic pace charts. This short list is their Sistine Chapel. They are aiming high right now.

The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
~ Michelangelo Buonarroti

Those are wise words. The development team does not want to aim low here. This is exactly why they pulled the mobile interface to rework it. That particular programming and those others mentioned above eat up a lot of hours. We are not complaining; we’re just letting you know we’re working. It’s just a matter of time before these are all part of your Educator. When will that be?

timepassing

We cannot make time stand still. They will get it all done in time. It will take longer than you like, but it will be done in less time than most projects. In the meantime we will add some smaller efficiency tweaks here next week, then enjoy some turkey, and return with more goodies. Who knows? There might well be something coming out of the laboratory before then. We’ve listened and understood. Now it’s just a matter of more work.

If you knew how much work went into it, you wouldn’t call it genius.
~ Michelangelo Buonarroti

Educator Epic

Do, or do not. There is no try.
~ Yoda, from The Empire Strikes Back

This past week began with your Educator developers rolling out the largest Educator change in its long history. Merriam-Webster defines epic as extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope. From Homer’s Odyssey through Dante’s Inferno to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and beyond Star Wars … our lives are filled with some epic recollections.

epic1

This rollout became a journey for all of us. You should know that every member of the Educator development team is indeed a Star Wars fan. In the end each one of us believes in Yoda’s commandment above; get the job done! It always begins with trying. And the goal is never attained without the constant striving and the continual doing.

yoda3b

Your feedback was a tremendous source of guidance and encouragement to the entire Ucompass team. If you can appreciate where Educator is heading, then pat your selves on the back! In the diary of the past five days, you’ve helped us come a long way since Sunday. Together we have managed to make Educator a much better home for learning and teaching, and we’re not done.

The first enhancement we added was simply a way for you to retrieve the left-hand navigation bar anytime you wanted. We recognize this as a matter of personal preference and adjustment.

navigate2

For anyone who might not have seen the email or followed along, you can retrieve that navigation bar by clicking your name on the toolbar, select ACCOUNT PREFERENCES, and elect the SIDE NAVIGATION. Click SAVE, and this navigation will be attached to your account.

Take a look at our tweaking and polishing diary over the past few days …

Sunday November 2nd:

  • Fixed School Link on TA Grade Book
  • Removed empty parentheses if student doesn’t have segment information
  • Updates to better resize announcements
  • Fixed institution appearing incorrectly on TA Grade Report
  • The toolbar listing courses in arranged order as opposed to alphanumeric order
  • Teacher courses are now listed before Student or TA courses
  • Turned on temporary navigation for mobile users (working on resolution)

Monday November 3rd:

  • Added weeks active to student grade report
  • Re-arranged logic to better re-size iframes for announcements
  • Added students username to Student Grade Report
  • Moved iframe resize code outside of document (for future dashboard performance)
  • Added css to always display archive correctly on Teacher/TA inbox
  • Teacher/TA Workload now only displays empty stars on hover
  • Removed padding and margin from grade book css for the body (to view full grade book)
  • Added old navigation to old style gradebook
  • Toolbar update for ask a tutor link

Tuesday November 4th:

  • More changes to Announcement iframes, setting widths more appropriately

Wednesday November 5th:

  • While viewing grade report on phones, the assessment name will once again always be visible
  • Added student’s e-mail back to Grade Report Header
  • Added supervisor e-mail (if available) to Student Grade Report header
  • FLVS CONNECT replaces the non-existent Staff Central link on the toolbar

Thursday, November 6th:

This caught our eye on Facebook today:

Hi, one more thing! My partner and I have checked and the default mail in Educator (when checking mail from a student) goes to 10. So, if I set it to 100, it goes back to 10 each time. I get a lot of email, so it always has to be set. I called tech and they stated there was not a problem with my system, which led me to ask another teacher if it happens to them- and yes- it defaults each time to 10. So, when you go to email in Educator, if you have 50 emails, it will only show you 10 at a time. I would like to make it so it shows all 100 plus as my default- can that be fixed?

Has that ever bothered you? Would you like to see that changed? Maybe you have mentioned it before, and we somehow lost that post or email. If so, please accept our apologies. Moving along … guess what? Your SHOW NUMBER for emails will stick from now on. This holds true for teachers, TA’s, and students. If you like making things stick when you can, you should be happy with this.

Today brought some other things to our attention here …

Hi, The spell check icon is there but as I click on it, it does not open.

Then someone shared this:

One thing I need help with currently is inserting an object ID is not working while I am grading nor is the Add Audio tool under the students or teacher comments box. I like to be able to quickly add an audio file to feedback I give my students but now I cannot. Any workarounds or quick fixes? Thanks; I am loving the new look in Educator. You guys are doing a great job!

There was also this notation in Facebook:

One note: at this point I have been unable to add audio—now and previously recorded. Am I missing something? And thanks for always being forward-thinking and speedy in addressing suggestions!

While we really do appreciate the gratitude and kudos, our march toward the finest service excellence demanded that something be done. It has been. All systems are now working as expected. We apologize for any slight inconvenience. Put them all through your paces, and let us know how things are running.

There was another matter that bothered us. Why was the NEXT UNGRADED ESSAY box getting in the way of progress? First, we read this comment about the magical box:

Thanks. It slows down the grading, so I would love it to move or the text to wrap so that it isn’t under the box!!!

This idea followed that comment:

Could the box be moved off center (to the right)? It also covers the workflow number (i.e. assessment 7 of 25). Moving it slightly to the right might solve both of these problems.

We are well aware how this feature has been very popular with teachers. We wanted to give it another major tweak, and it just rolled out for you to experience. The NEXT UNGRADED ESSAY navigation will now appear on the bottom of your browser window. Take a look …

ungraded

You’ll also notice that we thought some additional information might prove valuable to you when reviewing and grading student essays. The idea actually came from you!

In the box within exams where they let you advance to next essay question and have added student name (thank GOODNESS), could they also add the exam number? It would save having to scroll back up for forgetful minds like mine.

We have added:

  • Student name (Segment)
  • Exam number and title
  • Number of remaining ungraded essays
  • Current exam grade

As you scroll through the exams this information will always be there. What do you think?

It has been a busy week for us and for you. We do appreciate your patience and your trust. Thanks for helping out the students, although rumor has it that things were a breeze on that front. We are now working to change how mobile devices respond. That’s not far away, and we will keep you posted. We had to temporarily return those navigation buttons to mobile devices. They won’t be there for long, and we appreciate your understanding. Finally …

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
~ Ferris Bueller, from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off